From CFJC Today: “Hearing voices is often regarded as a sign of mental illness. But maybe voices are just part of a spectrum.
Professor T. M. Luhrmann says the idea of a continuum of voices is gaining recognition:
‘This is the new axiom of the psychotic continuum theory: that voices are not the problem. The problem is the way people react to their voices,’ says the professor of Anthropology at Stanford University (Harper’s magazine, June, 2018).
Luhrmann has been studying voices for decades and found people with intense experiences who aren’t psychotic.
Luhrmann met one man at a Hearing Voices workshop. ‘His voices would yell at him for hours, cursing him, screaming that they should drag him out to the forest and leave him to die in the leaves.’ He was encouraged to placate them. One of his voices was obsessed with Buddhism, so he agreed to read Buddhist texts and offer prayers during an allotted hour. Within a year, he had almost completely transitioned off medication.
Rather than treating voices as a disease, a better plan might be to treat them as part of rainbow of voices — some relatively benign, some requiring therapy.
‘The central insight of these methods is that the way people respond to their voices can change the course of their lives,’ says Luhrmann.”